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Pascagoula-Gautier School district COVID vaccine drive brings in many people

Published: Aug. 20, 2021 at 5:27 PM CDT
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PASCAGOULA, Miss. (WLOX) - At first, it may seem counterintuitive to bring people into a school, even after students have been sent home.

But a vaccine event put on by the Pascagoula-Gautier School District is the best shot to keep it from happening again.

“It excites me,” said head football coach Lewis Sims. “I was walking up the hall today and I saw a line in the hallway and all the people that are here to get the vaccinated just warms my soul.”

The vaccine drive was planned weeks ago with Singing River Health System, but the drive became even more important after officials made the decision to close.

And, the effort had some muscle to it, as coaches like Sims pushed athletes to help lead the charge.

“To see young people come in here and have their forms and line up to get the shot, I know we’ve got a chance to have a successful season if we can continue to get vaccinated,” he said.

And senior athlete Josh Forsman was one who made the decision.

“Yes sir, I was thinking about it,” said Forsman. “I was like, well, I don’t know if I should or shouldn’t. But, then, I kind of made the decision today.”

And he believes it’s a good way to make a good example.

“I mean, it’s important. It shows everybody it’s important to get vaccinated,” Forsman said. “And, don’t want to get quarantined anymore.”

Sisters Sharee, Shaleah and Shameah Turner credit their mother for pushing the issue.

“Thank you, mom, for helping me get the vaccine,” Sharee said. “I feel like, it’s better now since I got it.”

Gautier High School also had a big turnout led by students who overcame their fear to do the right thing.

“I feel like it’s the right way to go,” said sophomore Jack Rogers. “If you’re scared, I get that. It’s OK to be scared. But, you also have to do what’s right for your community.”

Added eighth-grader Emery Kate Rone: “I’ve got so many older people in my life who are really prone to it right now. And, so being safe for them and for everybody else just makes me feel good about that.”

In all, 114 people were vaccinated during the drive.

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